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The factors affecting the deflection of a cantilever when weights are added onto the end.

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Physics Investigation

I am trying to find out about:

The factors affecting the deflection of a cantilever when weights are added onto the end.

What I think will happen:

I think that as the weights are added to the cantilever, the deflection will increase.

I think this will happen because:image00.png

I think the deflection will increase because gravity will push down on the cantilever and weights while the atoms in the cantilever will be resisting this force: - image01.png


This means that the moment of the weights is the distance from the bench (or pivot) multiplied by the number of Newtons attached to the hook. As I know that the moment increases as more weight is added, I can use this to back-up my prediction by stating that more weight (or moment) causes more deflection e.g. I predict that weight is directly proportional to deflection. This could also be likened to a bimetallic strip, which will bend more as it is increasingly heated or cooled.


...read more.


To this when weight is added ~~~~~~~~~~~~image04.png


To do this experiment, I will need:

  1. A wooden meter rule
  2. A G-Clamp + small block of wood
  3. A Hook
  4. 7, 1 Newton weights
  5. A small coil of string

First fit this equipment up like so:image05.png

The string is used to attach the hook to the ruler. String is useful for this, as it is thin and can be placed at a measured position with fairly good accuracy.

The block of wood goes in-between the G-Clamp and the ruler to stop the pressure damaging the wood. If I were to set-up the ruler without the G-Clamp I could not call it a cantilever, as a cantilever is defined as a projecting structure, fixed in position and direction at one end, and free at the other.

In my preliminary experiment I found that there was no way to hook the weights onto the ruler and that using too many weight would snap or split the ruler.

I used this information in my "primary" experiment by using string a certain distance from the bench and also adding no more than 7 Newtons onto my ruler.

...read more.


The 3rd and 4th results increase the surface area less that the 1st to 2nd and so do the averages of them.

Also, the oxygen readings fluctuated so taking three recordings and averaging them out was a beneficial idea.

My prediction was correct.


The test could have been more reliable if the concentration of acid was kept the same each lesson as this caused higher or lower results depending on which concentration was used.

The pieces of potato were overlapping on top of each other in the test tube, which detracted from the accuracy of the result as the experiment was trying to make a correlation between surface area and oxygen produced. A conical flask with a thin mesh just above the bottom would have helped keep as much area exposed as possible.

The odd/fluctuating results were mostly due to the acid concentration problem as the overlapping happened every time.

I am more certain that my conclusions are correct because I have checked and recorded my results and found no unexplainable anomalies.

I could do more research into enzymes and how fast they convert their substrate into the components to enable me to work out the experiment using maths and practical experience.

...read more.

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